Rugged phone maker behind CAT bites the dust

CAT S62 Pro back panel
(Image credit: CAT Phone)

What you need to know

  • UK-based Bullitt Group, renowned for rugged phones like CAT and Motorola Defy 2, has seemingly closed down amid financial troubles.
  • Bullitt employees have confirmed the closure on LinkedIn, leading to layoffs, presumably due to the company's failure in a crucial restructuring.
  • Earlier reports hinted at financial struggles and potential insolvency.

Bullitt Group, the UK-based company behind some of the leading rugged phones, seems to have shut down following previous reports of financial issues.

Several Bullitt employees, including Annabelle Boone, the global service director, have shared on LinkedIn that the company has closed down, leading to employee layoffs, as reported by Mobile World Live. This news follows The Telegraph's report earlier last month, suggesting the smartphone maker was facing insolvency and considering appointing administrators.

Bullitt told the publication that it has planned to hand over its satellite connectivity business and 100 employees to a company owned by its creditors. However, Tim Shepherd, the head of product marketing, revealed his departure in a LinkedIn post after Bullitt failed to pull off a crucial restructuring.

Bullitt hasn't said anything about shutting down. We've reached out to the company for details on the closure and will update this article once we hear back.

The company made rugged phones for brands like CAT, Land Rover, and Motorola. Its latest release was the Motorola Defy 2.

In 2022, Bullitt aimed to shift gears from hardware to satellites, as per The Telegraph. To that end, it rolled out new services, like the Bullitt Satellite Messenger and the Motorola Defy Satellite Link Bluetooth accessory, which delivers satellite connectivity to any Android or iOS device.

If you're on the hunt for a rugged smartphone, check out Samsung's XCover series or what Doogee has in store. There are still a few options out there with the toughness and water resistance you crave.

According to Research and Markets, the global rugged phones market hit $2.98 billion in 2023, and the research firm predicts it's going to flex an 8.4% growth by 2028, hitting a jaw-dropping $4.46 billion.

Regardless, with Bullitt's shutdown, people looking for tough phones might feel a bit limited.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.